359. HYBRID SCOOTERS
Scooter sales are surging according to a new article in the New York Times. Make that another industry getting a big shot in the arm from peak oil:
In the first three months of 2008, scooter sales were up nationwide by 24 percent compared with the same period a year earlier, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council. And that was before gas starting hitting $4 a gallon. A continued rise in fuel prices could accelerate sales further. The increase in gas prices in summer 2005 correlated with a jump in scooters sales of 64.5 percent during the summer months compared with summer 2004. (Sales in the entire motorcycle category went up also, but by only 16 percent.)
This guy is starting to understand "peak oil". Get a scooter and quit worrying about it.
Scooters are winning converts, and not just for the romance of Vespas. Last August, Chris Casal, a 32-year-old elementary school teacher who lives in Brooklyn Heights, bought a scooter for his commute to Williamsburg, in part because of concerns about gasoline prices and parking. Since then, he estimates he has driven his car only 15 times and usually only when it was cold or less than 20 degrees outside. Even though he lives only five miles from work, it is a 45-minute trip by subway or a 12-minute drive.Check out this 3-wheeled hybrid scooter from Piaggio:
“Because I know I am going to get a gallon, gallon-and-a half max,” Mr. Casal said, he no longer worried about gas prices. “That’s the first time in my life I’ve ever not cared what the price of gas was.”
This machine has an unbelievable fuel efficiency of 170mpg (=71km/liter), and will be available later this year (Source). This particular model is quite expensive, but that's not important. Cheaper competitors will flood the market when demand justifies it. The important point is how incredibly fuel efficient personal transportation can become in response to higher oil prices -- with off-the-shelf technology that is ready to roll, today.